Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Write On

Murdock Mansion
As mentioned in the past, I have been struggling with my next writing project. I guess the main problem is that there are several projects that I have been working on, but I am not sure any of them is worthy of being made into a book. Yes, that nay-saying critic on my shoulder has been working overtime. As my mind turns towards 2014 and what I would like to accomplish, I realize I need to focus on one thing. But which one to choose?

And then it came to me as I was reading an article about the celebrations that will be taking place in St. Louis next year. The city will be 250 years old in 2014! (If you are interested, here is the website about all the activities that will be taking place.) They say timing is everything with a book launch, so wouldn't it be great to have a book about John J. Murdock ready to go next year? After all, he is a true rags to riches to rags story. He came to St. Louis as a young man and rubbed shoulders with the movers and shakers in the city at that time. His business as an auctioneer and investments in downtown real estate certainly influenced the history of the city.

This is my public declaration that 2014 will be the year of John Murdock. All of my attention will be focused on researching him, his business and the land he owned in St. Louis County. At the end of the day, will there be enough information for a book? I don't know at the moment. But at the least I can write an in depth article about the man and the myths surrounding him. Wish me luck!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Writing Your Life Story

an attendee and I discuss house history
Last weekend fellow author Linda Austin and I were at the Webster Groves Bookshop to discuss writing memoirs and family history. It was nice to see so many people shopping in an independent book store despite the big Missouri football game being televised that afternoon. I enjoyed talking to people who are working on their own stories. It is nice to bounce ideas off one another, and I hope that Linda and I offered encouragement and support. Most of us have that big critic sitting on our shoulders telling us that what we have to say isn't important, or that no one will care anyway.

I struggle with this myself, but I keep writing anyway. How often have we wished that our own ancestors had kept diaries so that we could see what their lives were like? Think about how quickly things change. Certainly my experience in giving birth will be vastly different than what my children will go through. Look at technology. From televisions to telephones, we have seen extraordinary changes in our life time. So go ahead - kick the critic to the curb and write your stories down. Someone in the future will be glad that you did.